Crabcakes in process

(Photo courtesy of mocephus at flickr.com.)

Having lived a good deal of my life in Virginia and Maryland, I’ve had a long and happy acquaintance with crabcakes.   They’re usually delicious, and restaurants that offer them have done the experimenting for you, so I often order them dining out.

When Virginia came up with the motto “Virginia is for Lovers”*, memorably Maryland followed with “Maryland is for Crabs”  and of course crab items on the menu took off there.

Recently, I had a particularly tasty crabcake at Andrea’s in NOLA, that had more lilt than usual, and I recommend that you try that if you’re in the area.     If  you’re  not fortunate enough to get wonderful hosts who take you there for dinner, (and love a plug for their fav), I understand there’s a touch of eggplant in them, so you may want to treat yourself to a touch of that in your own.

Here’s a basic recipe, and a few hints from one source that works for you – Cooking Light.

The binder plays a big role. Breadcrumbs and egg should bind the seafood lumps in a nice patty that holds its shape and crisps nicely. Too much binder yields those dry, dense cakes we’ve all encountered. Too little, and everything falls apart in the pan. Here we’ve nailed the filler-to-seafood ratio and perfected a shaping method. These cakes are so tasty, they don’t even need sauce: A simple squeeze of lemon or lime does the trick.

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  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise $
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten $
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Combine 1/3 cup panko and next 10 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring well. Add crab; stir gently just until combined. Place remaining 1/3 cup panko in a shallow dish. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 4 equal balls. Coat balls in panko. Gently flatten balls to form 4 (4-inch) patties.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

The old adage that seafood will increase your brainpower isn’t the only reason I keep adding it to my personal menu.   It’s healthy, it’s good, and it contains less fat than many meat dishes.

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*Now replaced by Vaginal Probes.